Thursday, April 29, 2010
However, as a backpacker and camper, I have camped with fanatical coffee drinkers. These are folks that won't budge an inch until they have that cup of Joe. And to tell the truth, it smells great brewing and I am sure it warms body and soul as the first rays of the sun peaks over the ridge line in the distance. Needless to say someone always has coffee on these camping trips.
So how do they do it? Especially where weight and convenience are important considerations. There are any number of ways to brew coffee while camping in the field. Some people bring along little percolator coffee pots and brew a cup or two. That can be messy. What my camping mates do is use the Folgers Coffee singles.
They are like tea bags. It's pretty darn easy. Just boil up a cup of water and put the bag in the cup. I understand the coffee isn't too bad either. And if it is campfire time, or relaxing at anchor watching the sunset, well a slug of Irish whiskey which some how made its way into the pack might be just the thing with that evening cup of coffee.
If a there are a lot of coffee drinkers, someone boils up a pot (like a cooking pot) full of water and then tosses in one of those coffee bags made for drip coffee makers. Some of the guys collect them from their hotel rooms and save them for camping trips. These are the ones that are free and brewed in your room. Take along the free sweetner, sugar, and dried creamers as well. They are light, easy to use and hold up well in the field.
So, on a sailing cruise, we could carry the coffee bags, boil up a cup of water, insert the bag and let the good times roll. (But alas, we don't drink coffee.) Clean up is a snap and that second cup is just as easy. Now cleaning up after bacon and eggs is another post.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
I put together a short movie of the launching. The photos and video clips were taken by my neighbor Roger who attended as my guest. I shot one of the stills and included some photos of Amelia that were on the web. We were given the very special opportunity to go down to the bottom side of the ship and watch the launching up close and personal. The attached movie shows the final blocks and welds holding the ship on the launching carriage being removed. Then as the bottle of champagne is being broken on the bow by a member of Amelia Earhart's family (on the upper platform where all the speeches take place), another dignitary located on a platform down where we were detonates a small explosive charge and the final weld is blown and the ship slides down the ways. The last clip shows the San Diego bay water rush back up the ramp as the ship hits deeper water. There are tugs waiting to catch the ship and push it along side another pier where the rest of the outfitting and construction takes place. It was a very exciting event.
Here is A blurb about these multi-purpose ships.
Dry Cargo/Ammunition Ships - T-AKE
Description: The dry cargo/ammunition ships are operated by the Navy's Military Sealift Command and provide multi-product combat logistics support to the Navy fleet. USNS Lewis and Clark (T-AKE 1), the class lead ship, is a new Combat Logistics Force (CLF) underway replenishment vessel intended to replace the current capability of the Kilauea-class (T-AE 26) ammunition ships and Mars-class (T-AFS 1) combat stores ships. With the retirement of the Sacramento-class (AOE 1) fast combat support ships, the T-AKEs may also operate as battle group station ships when accompanied by a Henry J. Kaiser-class (T-AO 187) oiler. The T-AKE program calls for up to 14 ships and has a budget of more than $6 billion. The T-AKE acquisition program resides within the Navy's Program Executive Office, Ships - Support Ships Boats and Craft Program Office (PEO Ships/PMS325).
Features: As an auxiliary support ship, T-AKEs directly contribute to the ability of the Navy to maintain a forward presence. In its primary mission role, the T-AKE provides logistic lift to deliver cargo (ammunition, food, limited quantities of fuel, repair parts, ship store items, and expendable supplies and material) to U.S. and allied Navy ships at sea. , In its secondary mission, the T-AKE may operate in concert with a Henry J. Kaiser-Class (T-AO 187) oiler as a substitute station ship to provide direct logistics support to the ships within a Carrier Battle Group.
Once the ship is launched, the ways are immediately cleaned up to make ready for the next ship's construction to begin. A lot of the lower keel and hull sections have already been constructed and will be assembled starting almost the next day. The ships are built in modular like sections and then the sections are put together piece at a time. It is fascinating to see.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
And while I was looking over my bills from BoatUS I decided to check on my SPOT membership. My annual fee, about $150 with the tracking feature, is not due until mid-summer. But while looking at their website I noticed the option listed above for third-party assistance. I need to call them to get a better explanation. It appears that if I put out a "need assistance" signal it will got directly to BoatUS. Right now if I use that button a message goes to my brother and he'll contact BoatUS with my location and membership number. I'm not sure which is the best way to go. I'll give SPOT a call and check on the details.
I got my two books to read during the trip, Vicksburg 1863 by Winston Groom (most famous for his novel Forrest Gump) and Under Cover of Daylight by James W. Hall (that was a penny book from Amazon's used book store, plus $3.99 shipping). I, of course, am able to resist anything but temptation so the books sat on the side table for just two days before I was reading both of them. That's ok, there will be plenty left to read during the short trip. From the opening chapters I can tell you both are excellent books.
And lastly I read this morning that Chuck from Duckworks (that's his Caprice above sailing on Texas waters) will be coming to North Carolina to take part in the OBX130. Chuck is a busy man. He runs an online marine supply store, an online sailing magazine, he has competed in the Everglades Challenge AND he is the founder of the Texas 200 sailing even (So Chuck, what do you do in your spare time?). I bought my Pathfinder plans from him (he represents designer John Welsford in the states) and then bought all kinds of stuff - from hardware to leather - from his shop as I was building Spartina. I've corresponded with him, but never met him. And I'm sorry to say I won't be able to see him at this year's OBX130 as I've got a scheduling conflict. But someday I do hope to meet and hopefully sail with him. Have a great sail Chuck.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
I took Mike and Claire on board for a short sail (Mike said they had been "shanghai'd) then anchored in Crawford Bay where they ran me around in the tug so I could get some photos of Spartina. Below you'll see her with Norfolk in the background.
As I said it was colder and windier than expected and I eventually put on my foul weather gear just to keep warm. There is my gear drying on the mast at home after a fun day on the water.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
The nice thing about butterflies is they don't bite you and make you itch like some other flying things that shall go nameless.
I have no idea which butterfly is which. So for my next task I am going to find out who is who. I think I will go again next year as this was a lot of fun. The little kids were just amazed with everything. They didn't care if they chased all the butterflies away form the old guys taking pictures. As I told Steve, I guess that is why the zoo has the exhibit after all, for the kids.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Here are the two vessels under full sail. (The first photo was taken by Doug Frengle, a fellow cruiser, thanks Doug.) Can you spot Spartina? Don't decide too quickly now, take your time.
Here I am at the helm of both vessels. Can you tell which one was in warmer weather? Did you notice how much fun I'm having in both pictures?
Eating is a big part of any cruise. Did you notice any difference in the chefs? Which cruise caused me to gain five pounds? Can you tell who did the clean-up on each cruise?
Sleeping is also an important part of a successful cruise. As Steve says, "a good night's sleep makes the next day more fun." Can you tell which photo has no mosquitoes in the cabin?
Ah, Steve's favorite shot, the mooring light. Can you picture it swaying with the water's motion in each photo? Which one do you think cost the most to maintain? (This is a tough one I know.)
Navigation is very important on any cruise. Can you pick out the chart room on Spartina? Both vessels have back-up systems so choose carefully and don't be fooled by all the high-tech equipment.
Steve and I really love lying on the deck and shooting up through the sails towards the sky. Can you spot Spartina's rigging?
And of course no cruise is complete with out some sunset shots with the vessel or rigging included. Can you pick out Spartina?
How many differences did you find? If you didn't notice any, then you are a real sailing junkie and just love being on the water, no matter the vessel. Our kind of folks, right Steve?
Cruising on any sailboat is truly a wonderful experience. My voyages on Spartina are so unique and fun, there really is no comparison. The adventures Steve and I have encountered together are what make lifetime memories. Hey Steve, want to see the differences in bathroom facilities?